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Cornell University


The woody plant species included in this database were selected for the HORT/LA 4910/4920 courses, which focus on woody plants used for landscaping in New York and the Northeast – particularly in challenging urban environments.

The detailed information about each species is based on the experiences of the instructors, Nina Bassuk in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, and Zac Rood in the Department of Landscape Architecture.

The site had modest beginnings as an ‘online textbook’ circa 2000. The first version consisted of a FileMaker Pro database running on the Cornell network from a Mac under a desk in the main offices of the Department of Landscape Architecture.  Since then, the site has grown significantly more sophisticated with three major revisions that added additional features and functionality. The most recent upgrade was supported by a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant in 2013.

From the beginning, what has made the site unique is its focus on matching woody plants to site conditions, a feature sometimes lacking on other plant selection sites and a consideration that is sometimes lost in the design and plant selection process.

For more information on choosing and managing woody plants in challenging urban settings, visit the Urban Horticulture Institute website.